Josh Wolf goes the extra mile as a ‘Chelsea Lately’ writer
Ryan Summerlin July 5, 2012
STATELINE, NEV. – For laughs, Josh Wolf tapes his showers.
Don’t get the wrong impression. These aren’t videos. The comedian comes up with new jokes by making audio tapes, sometimes while he takes a shower. Talk about clean comedy.
“Some people literally sit in front of a computer and write,” he said. “I can’t do that. I need to speak out loud. In my car, and the best place for me is in the shower. A lot of people complain about (Los Angeles) traffic down here, the 405. When I’m stuck on there for an hour going to work, it’s a blessing. I am that crazy guy who you look over at in traffic who is talking to himself in his car.”
Wolf is one of three comedians who will perform Saturday, July 7, with “The Comedians of Chelsea Lately.” Jen Kirkman and Brad Wollack also star on the bill at the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa.
While it may look easy for the three comedians to be funny onstage or on the television program “Chelsea Lately,” it isn’t.
Wolf has advice for aspiring standup comics: Don’t do it.
“Imagine getting into a room with 1,000 people who don’t know each other and you trying to make all those people laugh at the exact thing,” Wolf said. “If you think about it, it’s really not a smart thing to do. Kids, if you’re listening, pick a different career with less risks, like jumping out of airplanes.”
Wolf’s fortuitous career is the result of design.
He avoided the field’s most competitive cities – L.A., Boston and New York – and worked in Seattle, where there were more chances to perform and the time slots were longer.
“I got thrown into the fire more,” said Wolf, who headlined all of Seattle’s big nightclubs, was a spokesman for Nintendo and did commercials for Microsoft. “Being a big fish in a small pond really didn’t interest me. There was really nothing else to do in Seattle.”
So Wolf moved to L.A., where he said he had to start building his reputation all over again.
“I moved through the ranks much quicker because people saw I wasn’t a three- to five-minute comic,” he said.
In addition to performing, he wrote for sitcoms “All of Us,” “Yes, Dear” and “Cuts.” He played a character named Josh on both “Raising Hope” and “My Name is Earl.”
“I just think maybe he (creator Greg Garcia) doesn’t think I can learn lines and a new name,” Wolf joshed.
Now he writes and performs for E! Entertainment’s “Chelsea Lately,” with Chelsea Handler, Wollack and Kirkman.
“He’s a smart guy, funny,” Wolf said of Wollack. “He is not scared to have an opinion, which is what makes him really unique.”
Kirkman’s forte is improvisation, kind of like Wolf in the shower.
“Jen does a lot of freeflow talking and some of it kills,” he said. “She’ll get off stage and say, ‘What did I say?’ You wish you taped every little thing. But sometimes that’s the best stuff.”